Orlando (population 187,000) is a citrus-growing region in central Florida—at the heart of Florida’s lake district—50 miles from Cape Canaveral. Orlando’s economy relies on theme parks, a massive convention center, and the manufacture of aerospace equipment and electronic components.
The three major theme parks are Walt Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios Florida.
Walt Disney World is made up of the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), Disney-MGM Studios, golf courses, water parks, campground facilities, a 7,500-acre conservation/ wilderness area, hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs, and covers around 28,000 acres. Sea World is a 150-acre marine park, and Universal Studios Florida is a 444-acre lot featuring sound stages, street sets, shows, rides, and an entertainment complex with a nightclub. Universal opened a second park in 1999, the 110-acre Islands of Adventure amusement park.
Parks, lakes, and rivers throughout the area offer plenty of outdoor activities, as well as sporting venues, museums, and cultural activities.
Every April the Orlando Shakespeare Festival takes place.
Avoid peak commuting hours when possible and make arrangements in advance for theme parks and lodging for better deals. Walt Disney World offers a Fastpass program, devised to reduce the time spent standing in line.
Nearby Kissimmee has motels for those on a budget. Orlando International Airport is a major international hub. Trains and buses serve the area; however, cars are recommended for exploring this region.